Chuck Todd talks post-election

Melissa Libutti

Nov. 8, 2016 will be a historic day in U.S. history regardless of the outcome. However, what happens next – the response to the results – may be even more important for the American people, and that starts Nov. 9.

There is no debate that this election has gone down endless dark paths. The continuous presence of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, questions around sources for funding of the Clinton Foundation, Donald Trump’s tax returns and the video release of his conversation bragging about sexually assaulting women, are just a few of many incidents that made national headlines and dominated television programs over the course of the last year.

For some people, the question of who to vote for has gone beyond party principles. It is not as easy as saying you are a Republican or you are a Democrat, because morality, trust, honesty and fear have all been brought into the picture, and many do not like what they see.

In an Old Gold & Black interview with Chuck Todd, NBC News political director and moderator of “Meet the Press,” Todd discussed the current state of the race, as well as the parts of our democracy that will need to be addressed after the turmoil of this election has passed. Todd will co-anchor NBC’s “Decision Night in America” Nov. 8 starting at 7 p.m.

“Nov. 9 in some ways will be more important than Nov. 8,” Todd said. “The damage is done; now let’s get to work.”

This election has brought to light the fragility of our democracy that we had not quite realized as well as many of the weaknesses within our political structures. Many blame the media for creating a lot of the tensions and polarizing forces.

“I don’t think we have as big an influence as people think we do,” Todd said. “We just have the largest platform.”

These ideas are continuously spread at the lower level through platforms like social media. Anger and frustration with those that do not share in the same political values lead to cyber fights and further isolation of those who do not feel their ideals are part of the majority.  

“We seek out information we already agree with,” Todd said. “It’s an epidemic disease in this country. There is more diverse opinion than every before and everyone silos themselves.”

Unwillingness to compromise has seeped its way through all realms of democracy. From congress, to media outlets all the way down to the masses, a resistance to find common ground on the basis of political discourse has only been enhanced by this election where, for many, there seems to be too much at stake to budge from their bubble.

“We have allowed our political identities to become our personal identities,” Todd said.

As a public figure, Todd is not immune nor is he unfamiliar with critics. However, this election has brought out a side that he didn’t even know still existed. Along with racist and sexist issues that have been brought to national attention, issues of anti Semitism on a personal level for Todd have been prevalent; hateful comments he is unable to even share, comments he wished that for his Jewish mother, would have been long removed from the discourse of present day humanity.

No matter what the final vote rings tonight, the true test will come with the resulting actions of the American people, and the ability to come together as one regardless of political identities.

“Let’s not pretend this was a healthy election,” Todd said. “We have to treat this as if it were a natural disaster and, when it’s over, we are all going to need to help with the clean up.”